We mentioned Killybegs Fishing Trips last week, one of the licenced CHART Tuna tagging boats for 2021, who kicked off their Bluefin Tuna season last week with US travel writer Anietra Hamper landing a fine fish of 630lb aboard the Fiona Tee. Anietra was accompanied by Ian Henderson and Tom Armitage and all three put in the hours in some poor conditions over the 4 days of fishing. Skipper Michael gave us some more info on the trip this week:

Anietra plays her fish

On day 1 the weather was terrible in the morning but improved for the 2nd half of the day and it was in the afternoon that they had their first hook up at around 10am. Anietra did everything right in terrible conditions to bring the huge 630lb bluefin alongside but they did not get much action after that.

Anietra’s bluefin ready to be tagged

Day 2 weather was nearly too good in terms of conditions and there were plenty of signs of fish but no takes. Day 3 and the weather again was very good, as were all the signs but things ended in heart break. They had their first hook up at about 1.00pm but unfortunately lost this fish (hook-up video below), then a 2nd hook up at about 4.00pm but unfortunately lost this fish as well with nothing else afterwards. On day 4 the weather was very nasty and unfortunately there were no hook ups.

It is only early days yet as far as tuna season goes and things will only improve from here in terms of numbers of fish present in Irish waters.

Go fishing….

Fiona Tee

33′ Interceptor. 300HP Caterpillar
Skipper: Michael McGettigan
Licence: 961
Base: Mullaghmore Operational area: Donegal Bay. Within 30 miles of land.

Authorised bluefin tuna boat

Notes: With over 40 years experience in Sea Angling in Donegal Bay, we bring you to the best locations and guarantee the best that angling in Donegal Bay has to offer. The MV Fiona Tee is equipped with all the latest technology ensuring all our fishing charters are monitored and offer real time tracking. We are also fully equipped with the latest in onboard safety equipment.

Address: Moneygold, Grange, Co. Sligo.
Telephone: +353 (0)87 2540190
E-mail: info@killybegsfishingcharters.ie  Web: https://www.killybegsfishingcharters.ie/

Tuna CHART

Tuna CHART (CatcH and Release Tagging) utilises authorised vessels to catch, tag and release Atlantic Bluefin Tuna for data collection purposes off the Irish coast.  The programme,  developed by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department for Environment, Climate and Communications, operated on a pilot basis in 2019 and 2020.

The 2021 season opened on the 1st July and closes on the 12th November 2021.